Sakura Kinomoto is a cute, bubbly, normal fourth-grader. That is, she was until the day she opened a mysterious old book and awakened a powerful magic. Now she’s a cute, bubbly fourth-grader with a secret mission: to find and capture renegade magical beings before they destroy the world! Long ago, a great sorcerer named Clow Reed created a set of cards; each one housed a spirit with supernatural powers. He sealed them all within a book and assigned the magical being Kerberos to guard them. Sometime between then and now, the Clow Cards escaped. Now, disguised as Sakura’s stuffed animal, Kerberos must help his young mistress develop her own magic and get the cards under control.
Cardcaptor Sakura is a sweet series, appropriate for younger readers. There are six volumes in the original series, and Sakura’s story continues in a second one: Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow. Early volumes suffer a bit from poor translation (Tokyopop’s more recent translations are smoother), but you can certainly follow the story. CLAMP’s artwork is both cute and lush– the Clow Cards are especially cool– and the writing keeps Sakura’s magical battles interesting. CLAMP leavens the cuteness with unexpected twists, like Sakura’s encounter with what might be her mother’s ghost.